I will remember this year in education for... being the first year of schools directing their own professional learning and development (PLD) through Community of Learners’ (CoL) Achievement Challenges or their own personal leadership inquiries. Many schools recognised that their gifted children were “marginalised” in that they are students who are not served well by the standard education system. These schools recognised that the “one size fits all” approach does not suit gifted students any more than it does for the other end of the spectrum.
Our proudest achievement this year... has been refining our systems for easier online access and reaching out to schools with membership “add ons” to support them in catering for their gifted and talented students. This includes an offer on online support with additional Tall Poppies magazines for their staff and FAQs for teachers and parents around gifted education.
I predict the biggest issue in the sector for 2018 will be... working with the Ministry of Education and the Labour/NZ First led government in their restoration of funding support for gifted and talented children. This is an exciting but challenging time as we want to ensure that the funding provided will have the maximum impact on supporting gifted students both now and in the future. We want to learn from past challenges and solutions as well as link with new education initiatives to give gifted students a voice across all sectors.
Next year our priorities should be... working with the two other NZ gifted associations (NZCGE and giftEDnz) to:
- support the development of a bigger picture for gifted education in Aotearoa New Zealand and where its future could lie
- work within existing and future policies and frameworks to ensure the progress and wellbeing of all gifted learners.
By forming a united front, we will be able to speak on behalf of all those involved in gifted education and represent an accurate picture of what the community needs and wants from the Ministry.